Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Let's Make a Deal

Have you purchased a new mattress lately? I haven't, but I have to get a new one now. I think it's time. I'm getting tired of wrapping the broken spring that's sticking out of the side of the mattress with duct tape. Now don't get me wrong, the duct tape works, and it sort of matches the duvet cover I have on the bed...However, this morning I scraped along the side of the bed and felt my skin tear as I hit the broken spring. I looked down and sure enough there was blood...It's time to do something about it...

Whenever I buy something new I do research to find out about the purchase I'm about to buy. Mattresses used to be pretty east to buy. You went into a furniture store and the salesman showed you two or three sets, you laid on top of them and said, "OK I'll take this one". You gave him your money and the thing was delivered in a couple of days. There weren't many kinds to choose from. There was usually the manufacturer, Sealy and some unknown name. The Sealy was more expensive, but then they also had the word, "Posturpedic" attached to the name. There were no choices of color, style or any other of the myriad things there seems to be today. Who knew you had to get a PhD in "mattress-ology" to purchase one today, but it seems you do.

I had an idea of what I felt was a fair price. I knew I needed a firm mattress and I thought it would be a piece of cake to get a mattress that would fit my needs. Not that easy, I found out...

Armed with my notebook, pens, sticky notes and an assortment of flyer's, I walked into the first "mattress store". Walking into a store that specialized in mattresses only was my first mistake. I almost fainted when I saw the prices on the mattresses in the front of the store. I first one I saw had a "sale" price of $2,600.00. That was just the mattress. That price did not include the box spring, sorry, I meant to say, "foundation". (apparently I showed my ignorance by calling the box thing that goes under the mattress something that only idiots call by the name of "box spring". So shoot me?!?)

Honestly, I had a rough time speaking to this guy, my eyes were still glued to the price on the sticker. I had to ask the guy what could possibly make this mattress worth so much money. He laughed as he "educated" me in the finer points of mattresses...

Little did I know that mattresses were based on the number of "coils", whether or not the "coils" were wrapped or not, the "loft" of the fabric, and the foam content. That was just the beginning of the education. Who knew? I thought my research was pretty complete when I walked into the store, but I was sorely mistaken.

The gentleman was very patient with me as I asked questions I thought were pertinent to the purchase of this big rectangular thing made of cotton, foam and metal springs. I mean honestly, the bottom line is they're all made with the same materials, it's just how they're put together and what name is one the top that makes the price. Oh, and of course, how much money the company has spent on marketing the product. I think the reality is, that's why some are so much more expensive, they are marketed to the hilt, so someone has to pay the advertising costs.

By the time I left the stores that first adventure into "mattress-land", I was thoroughly discouraged. I had laid on about 25 mattresses, fell asleep on 1 of them, (the salesman let me rest to see how I liked it. He came back a few minutes later to wake me up, I was snoring so loud the other sales man couldn't hear his customer on the phone. I think that's the mattress I should have bought that day, but true to my way of shopping I had to check a few other places).

I went home with enough paperwork, flyer's and salesman's business cards to wallpaper my bathroom. I arranged all the paperwork and by process of elimination I narrowed my choices down to two sets, from the same store.

A couple of weeks went by, it was time to jump in and buy the mattress. I went to the store, grabbed the salesman, said, "I was here a couple weeks ago. You gave me some information, I'm now here to buy this mattress". He looked at me and said, "Oh right, the lady who fell asleep..." . I sort of wished he'd have remembered my red hair or some thing other than the fact that I snored so loud I had the whole freaking store laughing....but alas, it was not to be. He did remember me, I guess that was what counted.

Of course the mattress I wanted was out of stock now, so I was back to square one. The salesman was really cool about it. He found a similar mattress gave me a "Breathe-Rite Strip" ( you know the things you put on your nose to stop you from snoring?) and said he's come back to see how I liked this one.

I wasn't sure if I should be offended or not. I did think it was thoughtful he had one of the no-snore strips, but on the other hand I wondered if I had set some kind of precedent in the store....